For University of Florida alumni and residents, the city of Gainesville is affectionately referred to as “The Swamp.” It was exactly that muggy humidity and those high temperatures that plagued the school’s buildings, prompting renovations to the electrical and HVAC systems in Simpson Hall. Last renovated in the mid 1970s, the 34,847-square-foot residence hall was in dire need of an HVAC update.
Chad Doering, mechanical engineer and project manager, Moses & Associates, Inc., Gainesville, specified the new HVAC system. “We wanted to be able to dehumidify and maintain indoor pressure, which was not something we were able to do well with the previous system.” He recognized that a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) system would not only achieve these goals, but would do so cost-effectively – both in terms of the lifecycle-cost analysis he completed, and with the money saved by installing less equipment. Doering said, “This install covers 143 zones and if we wanted to give each student personalized control, we would have needed a branch controller for each zone – that’s 143 branch boxes. With Mitsubishi Electric, we only needed 15 boxes – and five of those were for the outdoor units.”
Our VRF systems are not just more efficient than the competition’s, they are incomparably more energy-efficient than conventional units. The chart below demonstrates the energy savings at Simpson Hall compared to North Hall – a comparable residence hall renovation the school completed around the same time, but with a chilled-water system:
The success of the Simpson Hall renovation prompted the school’s housing department to select our products for a second project – Cypress Hall. Despite being one of the largest residence hall construction projects on campus, the HVAC installation at Cypress Hall cost just $26 per square foot – beating Simpson Hall’s installation costs by an average of $4.
To learn more about how Simpson Hall compares to the installations in North Hall and Cypress Hall, check out the case study.
In our newest radio ad, our “official-sounding scientist” takes listeners through the personalization abilities of our Zoned Comfort Solutions™, emphasizing lower cost for greater comfort. It goes something like this –
Regulating the temperature in a car happens in one of two ways: either the air is on full blast, or the windows are open, often battering back seat passengers with whipping highway winds. Without either option, the car quickly becomes a mobile sauna. It’s difficult to regulate temperature in such a small space and for a relatively brief time, so it’s a necessary evil. That shouldn’t be the case in a home or office, however, where many rooms can satisfy many needs, yet that is exactly what traditional cooling systems do.
Catch this new ad over the airwaves to see for yourself how our official-sounding scientist captures this key messaging.
“There’s no application we can’t put it in,” says Kenneth McDonald, owner, McDonald Plumbing and Heating, Renfrew, Pennsylvania, of our Zoned Comfort Solutions™. McDonald Plumbing and Heating has served Western Pennsylvania since 1952. Over the years, our innovations have made the company’s projects simpler to install and easier to service. To hear how, view our most recent Diamond Contractor Spotlight video by clicking above.
You can expect energy consumption to come up a lot in conversation this summer; there’s just a lot of activity surrounding energy and related topics, like job creation. Partly this is due to the current election cycle, and partly because new incentives and tighter energy codes are being introduced federally and statewide to promote green building and technology.
For many people, this new focus on energy is great news. Bloomberg reports that all over the world, more cost-effective green technologies and increasingly prevalent green policies have led to a five-percent growth in green jobs over the last year – from 7.7 million jobs in 2014 to 8.1 million in 2015. This increase includes openings in biofuels as well as solar power, while oil and gas producers have seen declines since the middle of 2014.
Here at Mitsubishi Electric, we are proud to be involved in a number of projects that promote green building, and to create technologies that make lofty energy goals achievable. Some recent success stories include Concord Riverwalk (residentially) and The Willow School (commercially), though many more examples exist.
Our partner, Gustave A. Larson Company (Larson), annually recognizes manufacturers and suppliers with their Partners in Excellence and Quality awards. This year, 50 suppliers were scored against 14 different criteria, and scores were totaled to determine the top suppliers. Once again, we have been named a top supplier.
We were most highly rated for our “handling of rush orders” – a perfect score – as well as “merchandise quality” and a number of shipping, ordering and support categories – each of which scored at least 4.5 or higher on a five-point scale.
Our own Mark Kuntz, senior vice president, was on hand at the Wisconsin City Club to represent us in receiving the honor. Jennifer Corey received an accolade, as well, being named the top supplier sales person for 2015 in the company’s Mountain Region. We thank Gustave A. Larson Company for continuing to value our partnership and we are proud to offer excellent service year in and year out.
“How do you make a building like a tree?” That was the question Mark Biedron, co-founder, The Willow School (Willow), Gladstone, New Jersey, was trying to answer when he, his wife Gretchen and the team at Willow embarked on the Living Building Challenge (LBC). LBC is a standard requiring buildings to be 100 percent electric – often functioning at net-zero or net-positive energy usage. This was the goal for Willow’s new 20,000-square-foot Health, Wellness and Nutrition Center – and it was our very own VRF technology that helped achieve that goal.
Since a tree would use only sunlight, Willow produced energy with photovoltaic panels. That energy then fueled the school’s mechanical systems, like our VRF technology and Lossnay Energy Recovery Ventilators. The VRF units keep the school comfortable for little energy, while the Lossnay ERVs enable this new building to recover energy from exhaust air and simultaneously cool or heat outside ventilation air as it enters the building.
The result is a hugely efficient energy operation – a reflection of the school’s commitment to sustainability, and of the smart products and project design. “Every load was tracked and analyzed. Every amp and watt was accounted for. Nothing was missed,” said Vin Farese, Loring Consulting Engineers, Princeton, New Jersey. The success is evident: The school building performs more than 700 percent more efficiently than conventional educational facilities. Biedron is very proud of that fact: “It’s really the responsibility of the educational community to teach children how the planet works, why that’s important and how to use energy efficiently.”
To learn more about the efficiency at Willow – including how our customer service helped Willow meet certain LBC codes – check out the case study.
The goal of every product we design is to provide personalized comfort without wasting energy or space. To have two products recognized for their cost-saving attributes highlights just how successful our efforts have been. Paired together, Diamond Controls and L-Generation technologies create a system that is customizable for various commercial applications. We are proud that these systems have been recognized alongside so many other cost-effective building products.
Be sure to check out all of the winning products in BUILDINGS magazine’s June 2016 issue, released earlier this month. To read more about our award winner, click here.
When it comes to wineries, comfort can be dramatically different from room to room. This was a challenge for brothers Todd and Carter Oosterhouse, the latter of shows like TLC’s “Trading Spaces” and HGTV’s “Carter Can.” The Oosterhouses selected our zoned comfort solutions to condition a variety of spaces at their new Bonobo Winery in Traverse City, Michigan, including the barrel room, office space and hallways. Todd noted that, “Our winemaker likes to keep everything cold, so it’s been helpful that the units maintain the desired temperature for us. You can raise the temperature in individual offices, though, if someone wants it warmer. Not everyone likes it so cold!” Our zoned comfort solutions have made handling each of Bonobo’s zones possible.
In conceiving, opening and running the winery, the Oosterhouse brothers’ focus beyond just making Bonobo a pleasant destination for visitors was “to be as energy-conscious as possible through the whole project,” said Todd. This concern was not just a product of the brothers’ upbringing, but being in environmentally conscious California. Todd, Carter and Carter’s wife, Amy Smart, fully-embrace the environmental goals of their home state, so “mini-splits just made sense.”
Pat Harrison, estimator, Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing, Traverse City, recommended our system to meet the Oosterhouses’ needs, because he knew that it would be reliable. Harrison said, “Mitsubishi [Electric] product is our No. 1 product for split systems. The reason is performance – fewer callbacks.” Todd agreed, saying, “The Mitsubishi [Electric] system was right in line with our energy-conscious goals. So we went for it. And, happy to say, the installation was pretty seamless.”
Ensuring that everyone has a comfortable place to live is always a concern for municipal housing authorities, but as rental space is increasingly scarce and homeownership less frequent, increased low-income housing developments are a mainstay. ProudGreenHome.com recently highlighted a low-income retrofit in Washington, D.C. – an area desperately in need of financially viable housing solutions. The challenge of low-income retrofits like these is designing high-capacity housing units with low energy consumption.
Specifically with low-income housing – which is primed for retrofit applications and caters to a variety of families and their needs – the challenge is two-fold. First: How do you conserve energy usage while trying to build larger facilities to house more people, inevitably requiring more energy consumption? Secondly: How do you provide quality, comfortable housing without being cost-prohibitive?
You may be involved in a large public works project. If so, keep in mind that our systems offer a compelling solution for energy efficiency. The ability to target specific zones and varying energy needs make our systems an appealing option for this type of retrofit since they help many families meet many needs. For example, the J.L. Young Apartments run by the Tampa Housing Authority, Tampa, Florida used our split-ductless solutions to reduce its yearly HVAC consumption by 1,149,980 kWh, equating to a yearly expenditure reduction of $97,207.
Projects like these illustrate just how effectively our systems can reduce energy waste and ensure that, regardless of how much energy is used, it is only energy that is needed.